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A.J.-Less Dodgers Take on The Cubs

I have never seen twitter so happy after a 4-0 Dodger shutout loss. Twitter cheered after the Dodger’s were one-hit on Thursday evening.  Corey Seager’s bloop single to right with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth broke up Matt Moore’s no-hitter on his bobblehead night and saved the Dodgers the embarrassment of being no-hit at home for the second consecutive season. Now you know why the Giants acquired Moore at the trade deadline. It was a strategic trade and it’s worked because the Dodgers can’t hit Moore at all. Of course putting automatic outs in the lineup like Kike Hernandez and Charlie Culberson is a huge reason why they had just one hit the entire game. Giving those guys at-bats makes no sense whatsoever.

The loss highlighted a somber night for the Dodgers after the announcement of the shocking trade of longtime Dodger catcher A.J. Ellis to the Phillies for Carlos Ruiz. Nobody was happy to see A.J. be dealt even though it made sense from a baseball standpoint. Clayton Kershaw cried. A.J. Ellis cried and everyone else reminisced about A.J.’s lengthy Dodger career. No matter how much his abilities have declined the Dodgers have lost some of their heart and great clubhouse guy. James gave his take on the trade and you can check it out here. Ruiz is expected to join the Dodgers tonight and should be available to play.

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Dodgers vs. Chicago

Mike Montgomery-1-1 vs. Bud Norris-3-3

Game Time – 7:10 PM – TV- SNLA

Despite the Dodges almost being no-hit, they are still 2 games ahead of the Giants in the NL West. They had a successful series but now face an even bigger challenge as the MLB best Chicago Cubs come into town for a three-game weekend series The Cubs have the best record in baseball (81-45) and have a 14 game lead over the Cardinals in the NL Central. They are beatable on the road with a more human 36-26 record.

Left hander Mike Montgomery will take the mound for the Cubs as the Dodgers will counter with Bud Norris. The southpaw means we are likely to see automatic outs Kike Hernandez and Charlie Culberson back in the lineup because you know they’re such great hitters and percentages!

The big 6’5 lefty attended Hart High school in Santa Clarita and was born in Mission Hills. He’s a former first round draft pick (36th overall in the 2008 draft) and was signed by the Royals. He was sent to Tampa Bay in the Wil Myers trade and then flipped to Seatte for Erasmo Ramirez. Eventually he was dealt to the Cubs.

This is just his second start this season and ninth appearance for the Cubs. The second year hurler is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA in 13 innings pitched. He was 3-4 with a 2.34 ERA for Seattle. Overall he is 4-5 with a 2.41 ERA and 71 whiffs against 25 walks across 74.2 innings pitched. The Cubs have been primarily using him out of the bullpen. The tall lefty isn’t overpowering but supposedly has a strong changeup to go along with a fastball and curve.

Norris ‘s first start back from the disabled list was a disaster after he blamed it on the Great American Ball Park mound. He tossed 3.2 innings allowing 6 earned runs on 7 hits in a 9-2 Dodger loss. Then he appeared in relief during the Dodger’s 18-9 win three days later recording two outs and allowing one earned run on two hits.

Norris hadn’t pitched since July 31 because of a strained back. Overall Norris is 3-3 with a 5.67 ERA in 7 starts with the Dodgers. He has 35 strikeouts and 13 walks but has given up 9.7 hits per nine. He is 6-10 with a 4.69 ERA on the year. In 11 career starts against the Cub Norris is 5-5 with a 3.39 ERA. The Cubs are hitting just .222 against Norris. However Dexter Fowler and Miguel Montero are both hitting above .400 off of him. Montero and Jason Heyward have both driven in four runs against him and the Cubs have a .699 OPS. The Cubs have hit three home runs

Norris vs. Cubs

Ben Zobrist 23 19 3 0 0 1 2 3 5 .158 .261 .316 .577 0 1 0 0 0
Dexter Fowler 16 9 5 2 0 0 3 6 1 .556 .733 .778 1.511 1 0 0 0 0
Miguel Montero 16 14 6 1 0 0 4 2 3 .429 .500 .500 1.000 0 0 0 0 0
Jason Heyward 12 10 3 1 0 1 4 1 3 .300 .333 .700 1.033 0 1 0 0 1
Anthony Rizzo 12 10 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 .000 .167 .000 .167 0 0 0 0 0
David Ross 9 9 3 1 0 1 1 0 2 .333 .333 .778 1.111 0 0 0 0 0
Javier Baez 5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 1
Travis Wood 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Kris Bryant 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Trevor Cahill 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Jason Hammel 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Addison Russell 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Kyle Hendricks 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0
Total 107 90 20 5 0 3 14 14 25 .222 .321 .378 .699 1 2 0 0 2
National League West Standings

Yesterday sucked, but the Dodgers are still 2 games ahead. So let’s keep perspective. The Giants will be at home playing the Braves. Joel De La Cruz will be facing Jeff Samardzija at At&t Park. The Dodgers are 71-56 and 40-25 at Dodger Stadium.

Go Blue!

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

51 thoughts on “A.J.-Less Dodgers Take on The Cubs

  1. Norris vs. a lefty – hmmmm – doesn’t sound too good for the Dodgers.

    Who starts games 2 and 3? Last I heard, TBA is starting 2 & 3 for LA. I assume that Maeda will be ready for Sunday’s game? What about tomorrow? And who is going for the Cubbies?

  2. I’m going tomorrow, and I cannot wait to see TBD pitch!!!

    My hope is it’s JDL being called up for his debut

  3. Had a nice talk with someone this afternoon and I have few takeaways:

    1. The Dodgers are in no hurry to trade Puig, but it’s pretty certain that he will never play another inning for the Dodgers. The rumor is they are asking for two top prospects for him: a closer and a third basemen. Interesting….

    2. The Dodgers were not hot on Reddick, but to get Hill, they had to take Reddick too.

    3. Reddick could be moved next week to make room for Ethier.

    4. The Phillies may want Ellis to be more than a catcher.

    5. Baseball people are pissed at Friedman for getting bargains like Toles and Segedin.

    1. Hmm, I just wrote a long post about the state of this board and it disappeared. Anyways, it appears that the Dodgers truly want something for Puig, but if the entire world know that he won’t play another game for the Dodgers then they don’t have any leverage. Unless they swing a deal for Braun our hitting against lefties won’t get magically better. Call up Puig Sept 1st and play him in RF against lefties. If he doesn’t behave have Chooch kick his ass. Is Howie that bad at 2B, that Culberson is the better choice. Culberson shouldn’t be the choice over Kendrick at 2B. I get Chase needs some rest.

      I can kind of believe that they were more after Hill than Reddick, but they gave up a lot and Reddick is a FAZ guy so I take that with a grain of salt. They may have preferred someone else but it became apparent that they were getting someone not named Puig to play RF.

      I totally believe point 4 about AJ.

      Is a 34 year old gimpy Ethier really going to be able to do much? I don’t see them moving Reddick because a vet who hasn’t faced any real pitching this year is coming to the bench. We shall see.

      As for point 5. Every GM is bargain hunting right? I’m sure none were shedding a tear when we had to release Crawford and Wilson and eat their big contracts.

      1. Hawkeye, spam got the post. It’s up now. You might want to repost it on this thread!

        I do not like Donald Trump and am not like him in any way except that I know how to get readers to a blog. Most of the Dodgers families read LAdodgerTalk to see what the Idiot would say next.


        1. At the start of this week, this board seemed calm and the dialog was civil. Mark and Badger were making points without baiting each other. Both were back to using humor. Things sure have regressed.

          From my perspective when I first started reading LAdodgertalk, I thought Mark was a big blow hard who found it more important to say he was right about something than anything else. He would throw everything out there. Sometimes to generate conversation and I felt sometimes to be able to come back and say he was right about something. Throw enough shit at the wall and something will stick. I actually went to the blog because of the links to other Dodgers websites. I would read his take and then go to the other sites. Mark calling everyone idiot, morons, and threatening to leave was hard to take. I remember being in the batting cages next to Scott Schebler’s uncle talking about Scott’s future and some Dodgers sites. He brought up Mark and I told him he was a big blowhard.

          As the forum on the became unbearable, I found myself reading more and more of the comments on his site. I got a kick out of Badger and usually agreed with him. Always politically. The site lacked something when he was banned.

          Having said that, when Mark wants to, he’s an excellent writer with good perspective on the Dodgers. I found myself agreeing with more of Mark’s ideas. He wrote a great piece almost two years ago about how CK would be better off with AJ. I enjoys Mark’s takes even when I don’t agree with him when he isn’t calling people morons and idiots. It got bad around here when Mark and Badger couldn’t make a single post without taking a jab at each other. It used to be kind of funny and then it became too personal and was overtaking every thread.

          It seems to me that Mark returned to posting here recently with the best of intentions and I still hate it when he calls people morons because they have a different opinion, but some of these recent attack on him are out of line. Let me be clear, I’m not blaming Badger.

          As for the AJ trade, if the national media is debating whether or not this was a good trade, we should be able to as well without such venom. I’ve shard my two cents. I’m sure it doesn’t matter, but I’ve been watching this from a far for a long time and it seems like it is about to get out of control again.

        2. So, you’re saying you deliberately say stupid sh*t just to get people lit up? Ok. I can accept that.

          I used to think you did some of those ridiculous trade proposals just to get a response until I realized that wasn’t the case at all. And some of your predictions have been way off (Grandal 25 and .275, real numbers 16, .234, and Urias 150 innings …. and your take on Iraq in 2003, oh my, did you miss that one) but comparing yourself to Trump in this way makes sense. I admire your courage to admit that.

    2. Mark
      That is why I didn’t want them to deal with Billy Beane.

      I think they gave up to many prospects, let alone take Reddick too.

      What happened to the right hand bat, they were suppose to get?

      And don’t say they just got that right hand bat, because Ruiz is not a really good hitter anymore, but I do expect him to hit better then Reddick.

  4. 2. If they “had” to take Reddick, and with Hill unable to pitch, why did it take 3 top prospects?

    The rest of that stuff we already know, so your “guy” needs to do better than that.

    TBD, O/U on IP ……….. 5. Before I know who it is, against the Cubs? …. I’ll take the under

  5. Re Norris: “It’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools.”

    Yeah, they’re going to get two top prospects for a player they don’t want. Maybe they could throw in Reddick to sweeten the deal.

  6. Are the Dodgers now saying that they don’t have any confidene in Grandal when he bats from the right side?

    If we consider how long it took Kendricks to find his bat then how long will it take Kike’ to find his bat? So now is not the time to think that Kike’ will help the Dodgers against leftys. That means against leftys Kendricks should be playing second, Sedegin in LF, and somebody that hits from the right side in RF.

    With Grandal a switch hitter the Dodgers did not need a righty bat at catcher, they needed one in RF. And Joc needs to play CF for his defense.

    Next year the Dodgers need to give second to Kike’ to lose or keep.

    1. Remember that part of the reason this trade went down was in case Grandal got injured again. He has a history. The FAZ thinks Ruiz gives the team a better chance to win. I agree. It would be helpful if Ruiz steps right in and shows his value. To have him sitting around waiting for Grandal’s crash won’t bode well with the team. I think we should see him right away.

    2. I would start Toles against left-handers just to see if he could do better than Kike. I think he’s a better defensive CF and the speed is an asset.

      I think AF still remembers the way Ruiz punished the Rays in the World Series.

  7. Doc said he would start Ruiz tonight. Maybe Ruiz can get Bud Norris to pitch smartly tonight. As usual, I”d be happy with 5 good innings from him. I don’t expect much.

    Brock Stewart has been called up, so I guess we know who TBD is for tomorrow.

    1. We are facing two leftie pitchers in this series, and Stewart is pitching too?

      The odds don’t look that good, but I hope they do better, then they did last night.

      I don’t look forward to games, when we are facing a leftie, and I have never felt this way, about a team.

  8. Like many switch hitters, Grandal is a higher average hitter right-handed and a better power hitter left-handed.
    Lefty – .224 BA, 19 HR, .828 OPS
    Righty – .260 BA, 2 HR, .831 OPS.

    I sense that the Dodgers prefer Grandal to bat lefty and platoon him. He has 65 plate appearances against LHP and 294 against RHP. His right-handed power has been absent since last off-season’s shoulder surgery.

      1. Why is Reddick playing against a leftie?

        I think Toles should be playing over Reddick.

        He has done way more then Reddick, and hasn’t been in the majors to long.

        I wonder why Roberts is playing him?

        1. Maybe for the same reason Mattingly repeatedly trotted out a couple of the relievers on the team–to send a message to FAZ that better players are needed.

          1. Bum
            I thought that too!

            I also thought that Roberts had Reddick pinch hit against a leftie, I think against the Reds, for that reason too.

  9. I guess it’s Ruiz’s game tonight. Good. I’ve always liked him. He waived a no trade clause to be here. The fact that he has one is significant. A good player and a huge upgrade.

  10. Sedegen not in the lineup. IF Roberts wants better defense in RF why not in CF. Kike’ s best position is shortstop. Joc in CF and Sedegen in RF would make more sense for me.

  11. Sit Joc twice with the auto out in CF and RF. Wow!!! Who is making this lineup? DR to make a point or the arrogant, over confident ones? Makes no sense this late in the season. Ego’s vs in your face?

  12. Weak pitcher, weak lineup. I’ll be surprised if Norris lasts 4 innings. He’s already shaky in the 1st inning.

  13. Kershaw on the trade, per

    “Carlos Ruiz is awesome, I’ve heard nothing but great things, but it’s a tremendous subtraction to this team, no doubt about it. “…
    “The pitcher-catcher relationship is pretty one-sided — we get all the credit, we take all the blame, and the catcher is just there,” he said. “A.J. prepares harder than any of us and for 12 different guys every series. “…

    This is why the trade is questionable. Kershaw said it wasn’t about what player is coming to the Dodgers but what player the Dodgers were losing. Will it work out? Hard to tell.

  14. Just checking in before leaving town for a few days. Norris doing ok against the Cubbies, hope he keeps it up..Be well guys.

  15. OK, I am going to retract what I said about the Dodgers winning 92 to 95 games. I erroneously thought Kenley Jansen would have a career year or at least do well. Little did I know he would turn into Jon Broxton and blow six saves. Who still wants FAZ to sign him to a huge deal?

    Screw Kenley Jansen! He’s a mental midget! Now we have to win it in the bottom of the 9th.

    1. Mark
      He is not that good anymore with only a one run lead.

      He should have been concentrating on the batters, not Heyward!

    1. Mark
      Kenley does this everytime it is going to cost a game in the standings to the Giants!

      He cost us two games in SF, after Agone hit the go ahead run then.

      But this game is over because they have Chapman!

  16. Fox News reporting Timmons blames the trade for impending Dodgers collapse:

    “trouble – it’s all because they traded Ellis”

    He could be right folks.

    Karma. It can be a big K in life’s scorebook.

    1. Badger
      The title of that Fox report, is numbers don’t always tell the true story, and the Dodgers suffer ten fold because of this.

      And like Badger said, karma can be a bitch sometimes.

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